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1p Harry Potter book fetches thousands at auction

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets signed by author J.K. Rowling Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

A Harry Potter book that was bought for 1p has fetched thousands at auction.

The 1998 first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets sold for £2,300 to a private international buyer today (December 12).

The book was at the centre of a battle between bidders at Bishton Hall in Staffordshire after the author J K Rowling signed the copy.

The former owner of the book Mark Cavoto, 51, from Buxton, Derbyshire discovered the valuable book by chance thanks to his daughter Holly.

On opening the book she discovered the copy had been signed by the author and it was a first impression.

Mark Cavoto with just some of his copies of Harry Potter. Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

“When Holly was a child, she loved Harry Potter books and started her own collection.

"About 10 years ago, we decided to sell some of her older books and three of them were snapped up within 20 minutes on eBay for £9.99 each.

"I checked the ISBN numbers and sourced the same three books second hand on Amazon, bought them for a penny each plus postage and sold them in minutes for £9.99 each on eBay.

“It turned into a business. I started buying Harry Potter books for next to nothing at charity shops and online. I currently own around 1,500 copies.”

"It was signed 'To Alexandra (again!) J. K. Rowling' and was a 1998 hardback first edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second novel in the series.”

– Mark Cavoto:

“I’m delighted Mark has achieved such a good return on his buy. He must have amassed the biggest collection of Harry Potter novels in the world.

"We’ve had phenomenal success with Harry Potter books this year – so much so I’m still getting about 50 emails a day from people who think their copy may be valuable."

– Hanson's Book Expert, Jim Spencer:

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